ARC Review: The Dressmaker of Paris by Georgia Kaufman

  • Title: The Dressmaker of Paris
  • Author: Georgia Kaufman
  • Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
  • Release Date: 1/28/21
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Age Range: Adult  
  • Rating: ★
  • Trigger Warnings: Sexual assault, anti-Semitism

The Dressmaker of Paris follows Rosa through decades of her life from her childhood in the Italian alps to her illustrious career as a dressmaker and designer.

The story is told from Rosa’s perspective as she is sharing her life story. This theoretically should make the reader feel closer to Rosa, but she comes off as distant and condescending in her narration.

I generally found Rosa deeply unlikeable. My heart went out to her when she was sexually assaulted and when she described her father’s abuse, However, I found her incredibly hard to connect with as a reader.

Rosa completely lost me when she made an anti-Semitic comment. She said that she had never met a Jew before the professor she lives with in Switzerland and realizes that he is a human. There is certainly something to be said for realizing the similarities you have with those who are different from you, but the way it was phrased was jarring and upsetting to me.

I really wanted to like this book. The premise intrigued me, but I found the actual novel to be a boring slog with a snooty narrator.

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